The BBC’s ‘Coast‘ programme is currently eulogising over Denmark’s massive investment in wind-farms. Needless to say its all good stuff.
Saving the planet and all that.
But what the BBC chose not to tell you is that in 2005 Denmark’s grid used 50% more coal generated power than in 2004. Even in the North sea the wind is not that reliable. Oh, and Danish electricity is the most expensive in Europe. Indeed at the last count and despite all this effort Denmark still has a massive conventional power generating infrastructure and that pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% percent in 2006 alone). Whilst only 6% of Danish consumption comes from wind, very often Denmark is reduced to exporting much of its available wind power at a loss and continues to be reliant on imported energy (hydro and nuclear from Sweden Norway and Germany).
Nor will you find the BBC quoting a Danish report saying that Danes pay the highest residential electricity rates in the EU and that the cost of saving a ton of carbon dioxide between 2001 and 2008 has averaged US$ 124. The report estimates that 90% of jobs were transferred from other technology industries to the wind industry, and that only 10% of wind industry jobs were newly created jobs, and that as a result, Danish GDP is US$ 270 million lower than it would have been without wind industry subsidies.
Given all the subsidies you can understand why Denmark has a vested interest in promoting its home grown wind farm industry.